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Weird 50mW

Abean95

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So i have this 50mW green laser pointer that is confusing me. I have read somewhere that you need at least a 100mW to light matches and to sting skin. My 50mW stings my skin the second i put it on my skin, but it can not light a match. It can pop balloons, cut electrical tape (easily), cut plastic trash bags, and many more fun things. What is going on?
 

00Giorge

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What color are the tips of your matches? I am guessing white, get a marker and color them black and they will ignite.
 

Abean95

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What color are the tips of your matches? I am guessing white, get a marker and color them black and they will ignite.
They are acctually red. and i put sharpie on them and nothing happens

Make sure you wear your goggles!
Of course :)
 

Abean95

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Because of the wavelength
ya well my 50mW can do what other 50mW lasers cant do, but then again a lot light matches but mine doesnt. im just confused thats all
 

Ablaze

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I suspect you are having trouble because the beam is not focused to a small point. Most people who want to burn stuff focus their laser to, say, 5 inches in front of the laser. I suspect you have a laser without a focusing lens, in which case it will be set to infinity.

You might try using a weak magnifying glass lens (like a set of glasses) and see if those let you burn a match. I don't know off the top of my head whether you would need to use reading glasses or prescription glasses..
 

weeba2kv

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pop balloons, cut electrical tape , cut plastic trash bags are probably all black materials and thin.

try a brown or black match :)
 

offroadfreak8582

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I suspect you are having trouble because the beam is not focused to a small point. Most people who want to burn stuff focus their laser to, say, 5 inches in front of the laser. I suspect you have a laser without a focusing lens, in which case it will be set to infinity.

You might try using a weak magnifying glass lens (like a set of glasses) and see if those let you burn a match. I don't know off the top of my head whether you would need to use reading glasses or prescription glasses..
I second this advise and a dark brown or black match :beer:

Greetings,,
 

xoul

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I have a "400mw" that is really probably more like <100mw green one that behaves similar to yours. It will burn skin, eventually even etch dark plastic, but i can't seem to light matches with it. It may just be crappy matches or matches that may have gotten damp at some point. Mine will actually make smoke rise off the match, but will not ignite. Try some different matches maybe.
 

Abean95

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I suspect you are having trouble because the beam is not focused to a small point. Most people who want to burn stuff focus their laser to, say, 5 inches in front of the laser. I suspect you have a laser without a focusing lens, in which case it will be set to infinity.

You might try using a weak magnifying glass lens (like a set of glasses) and see if those let you burn a match. I don't know off the top of my head whether you would need to use reading glasses or prescription glasses..
Alright, ya i havent tried that yet, and i will today. Thanks for the advice
 

brendon7358

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So i have this 50mW green laser pointer that is confusing me. I have read somewhere that you need at least a 100mW to light matches and to sting skin. My 50mW stings my skin the second i put it on my skin, but it can not light a match. It can pop balloons, cut electrical tape (easily), cut plastic trash bags, and many more fun things. What is going on?
This may sound racist but are you black ? Lasers burn darker stuff better & faster.
 

sopark4000

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This may sound racist but are you black ? Lasers burn darker stuff better & faster.
This never really occurred to me but I guess it is possible that a laser would burn a black persons skin faster than a white or lighter skinned persons skin.

I don't think that's racism, I think that's physics.
You beat me to it
 
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